The band also lives by their name: to give.
Living, traveling and performing together in a sustainable environment. The tour bus uses bio-diesel fuel; their recording studio was constructed by recycled and reclaimed materials; even their home and the global energy use of their websites are carbon offset with investments in renewable wind power.
The band's instruments were handcrafted by recycled material such as a banjo made from salvaged woods, a drum kit made from sustainable bamboo and two guitars and a mandolin made from a naturally-fallen tree.
The band even record their album, "Great Possessions" in the greenest way possible in 2008, using an eco-friendly, solar-powered studio. That album was in tribute to American conservationist Aldo Leopold and reflects the essence of his teaching: when land is viewed as a community to which we belong instead of a commodity belonging to us, then it will be treated with love and respect -- words that the band live by.
Todd Fink answered a few personal questions for us including how the band got their name, their dedication to the environment, music inspiration and their time at Carolina Roots MusicFest.
Why the name?
It wasn't something we gave much thought to initially. But we've grown with the name. We liked the book growing up and now feel there are many connections. It tells the story of happiness through service and being useful to society. The author, Shel, was from Chicago and also a songwriter who wrote for some of our outlaw heroes like Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash (A Boy Named Sue) and also most of the music for Dr. Hook And The Medicine Show.
How did you meet?
My brother E and I started the group in 2004 with some musical friends and it grew organically to 8 members and then settled in at 5 members today. We met the others in a variety of fun ways but I remember us giving a ride to Charlie our bass player to a fest several years ago and he never went back home haha. We really enjoy creating together and sharing the joy of doing what you love.
Band's Dedication to the Environment
A deep appreciation for nature was instilled in my brother and I by our parents. We feel immense gratitude for the Earth and all the elements. Without that power, who can do anything? That's where everything comes from such as trees for our instruments. So it keeps you humble. Humility is one of the best qualities to access creativity because the creative power of the universe is always trying to express itself if we could only get out of the way.
I don't see business and economic progress as diametrically opposed to sustainability as so many do. Many people do not understand how we hurt ourselves through the destruction of the environment and the imbalance of resources. Sadly, the stakes are not high enough yet for most people to open their minds and hearts. But that's where artists come in. That's our unique opportunity to serve and gently shake the world.
Inspiration Behind the Song
The music is not static. It is very fluid and evolving from our perspective. So we're always on to the next idea and the next part of the story. It goes where life goes. It comes from experiences and the influence of other artists experimenting and breaking through in their respective fields like science and literature. I think there is a down-home feel to most of it because we grew up and live in a rural area.
Are you excited for Carolina Roots MusicFest?
So excited for Carolina Roots Music Fest! We love North Carolina and can't wait to headline on Saturday night. Looking forward to sharing new music with everyone and making some magic together!